deutsch englisch IT

Futurism in Florence

Florence was not only the place of publication of the periodical “L’Italia futurista”, but – besides Milano and Rome – also one of the most important centres of Italian Futurism. In Florence the revolutionary ideas of the Futurism fell on fertile ground, as the climate had already been prepared by intellectuals which were working actively in the circles of periodicals such as “Leonardo” or “La Voce”. They all saw the necessity of resuscitation and, consequently, a break with the old traditions, which would resuscitate the “passatisitic museum city Florence”. One aim of Pro Firenze Futurista is, one the one hand, to bring together historical events and, on the other hand, the presentation of current projects and archives concerning Futurism in Florence.

The first “futurist contact” happened in the course of a campaign for punishment waged by the Milanese futurists towards Florence on 30th July 1911: Soffici, author of a critical comment in “La Voce” (03/11/1910) which expressed his disappointment about a Milanese exhibition of the futurists, should be called to account. As a result, there were violent clashes in the café Le Giubbe Rosse, as well as at the station designed by Giovanni Micheluzzi.

Consequently, the young Florentines joined the futurism and numerous futurist actions wer set in Florence:

In December 1912, Ginna exhibited his two abstract paintings “Nevrastenia” (1908) and “Passeggiata Romantica” (1909) in the rooms of the “Società di Belle Arti in Firenze” in the Via della Colonna 4.

The periodical „Lacerba” was founded in January 1913 by Papini, Soffici, and Palazzeschi. In the same year, the group around “Lacerba” organized the exhibition La mostra futurista di “Lacerba” at the Galleria Gonneli, which was also visited by the quite young Primo Conti. Furthermore, a Serata Futurista took place on December 12th.

In 1916, “L’Italia futurista” was founded and the famous, but apparently lost film “Vita futurista” was shoot by the group around “L’Italia Futurista” (Arnaldo Ginna, Bruno Corra, Lucio Venna, Emilio Settimelli, Remo Chiti, Nerino Nannetti) together with Marinetti at the Cascine, on the banks of the Arno, and at the Caffè Michelangelo.

At the same time, the manifesto “La cinematografia futurista” was published in “L’Italia futurista”. Some takes of the film allow to give an insight into it: The “futurist breakfast” at the restaurant La Loggia near the Piazzale Michelangelo, the “dance of the geometric lustre”, and the “futurist brawl” at the park of the Cascine. An anteprima, as well as takes/ideas of the film were presented at the Teatro Niccoloni (teatro di prosa) on 28th January 1917.

Besides the title of the film, which appears in “L’Italia futurista” in numerous adverts, you can further find a film description. On the occasion of celebrating its 100th anniversary, the film was reshot and directed by Giovanni Maria Rossi in cooperation with the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, Movie and Sound Firenze SRL, and Simona Serafini. Unfortunately, this film has not been published so far.

Cited Literature:

Manghetti, Gloria (ed.): Futurismo a Firenze. 1910-1920, Verona 1984.

Scaligero, Massimo/Giuseppe Sprovieri: Arnaldo Ginna. Un pioniere dell’astrattismo, Rome 1961.

Viviani, Alberto/Paolo Perrone Burali D’Arezzo: Giubbe Rosse. Il caffè della rivoluzione culturale nella Firenze 1913-1915, Milan 2007.